Open Threads

Open Threads is an open blogging platform, for debate and exploration of ideas among communists and radicals. Content presented here is contributed by Kasama site users.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in News & Analysis

The following report on the recent anti-Semitic murders in Kansas City is reposted from Scission, a blog published by a Kansas City radical.

Something is seething on the right wing in the United States. If the gunman behind these shootings represents a minority far-right fringe element that still openly identifies with expressly Nazi ideology and symbolism, it should be evident that actual far-right ideas have been gaining currency and acceptability across a broader swath of the population. There is a radicalization process happening on the right in the context of the right despairing over the electoral process, becoming embittered by the Republican establishment, convinced the country is slipping away permanently. As Republican politicians toy with populist appeals framing the Democrats as a ruling elite serving a population of entitled "takers" abusing the hard work of productive (white) citizens, it's certainly possible that the millions of right-wing Americans who are consuming those right-wing talking points could crystallize into a real far right militant movement.

As communists, I think we have to be extraordinarily careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that the Democrats or the malleable laws of capitalist civil society are any kind of first line of defense against this potential right-wing upsurge. The right wing is organizing and getting out its ideas; we need to be doing the same thing. And the ideas we should be getting out shouldn't be about defending a fragile, corrupt system with less interest and ability than ever in protecting or defending oppressed people; the ideas we should be talking about are how we can build a new revolutionary alternative.—ISH


The following article is from A World to Win News Service. The article contains a statement by Communist Party of India (Maoist) leader Comrade Abhay, a spokesperson for the CPI (M) Central Committee which has been translated and edited for English readers. The full statement can be found in Hindi at     


India: Maoists expose elections and call for boycott



Today is Comrade Lenin's 144th birthday.We dip our blood in memory of this legendary comrade who discovered the era of Imperialism and Proletarian revolution and defined the tactics and strategy of this modern era.Leninism is the marxism of the era of Imperialism and proletarian revolution and we still exist within that era.Lenin was the pioneer of the proletarian party ,democratic centralism and the ' colonial thesis' which took Marxism to a higher stage by discovering Imperialism.He also was the founder of 'revolutionary violence '.Significantly the comintern was founded in Lenin's time.

Today many comrades have violated Comrade Lenin's basic formulations by advocating multi-party system,era of 'maoism' ,'independence of mass organizations from the vanguard party'etc.Infact one of the reasons for the collapse of the Revolutionary Internationalist movement was it's lack of firm grasp of Leninist principles,particularly with regards to development of the party of the proletariat at a sufficient level.Underestimation of Lenin's tactical and strategic formulations led to the defeat of the Shining path movement in Peru and the CPN-Maoist in Peru.They underestimated the era of Lenin and took 'Maoism' as principal.The PCP gave one sided emphasis on Maoist military line while neglecting attention to Lenin's doctrine of Imperialism,massline and the proletarian party.Com.Gonzao overestimated the victory of peoples awes world over and negated the strength of Imperialism. Some intellectuals are critical that sufficient power  was not awarded in Lenin's era  to the Soviets and a standing army was not abolished.However they fail to measure the stark reality the Bolshevik party faced from enemies.Lenin did his utmost to promte revolutionary democracy in the first ever Socialist State.We need to study Stalin's work on foundations of Leninism.

On his birthday we must uphold the sword of Leninism against all wrong trends.Even if we uphold Maoism we have to recognize Lenin's fundamental tactics and strategy formulated for the modern era of Imperialism and proletarian revolution.Mao is the greatest marxist of his era and has taken Leninism to it's highest stage but has still not yet discovered a new era or replaced the Leninist formulations.Lin Biao wrongly called Mao Tse Tung thought the Marxism -Leninism of the era of total collapse of Imperialism Even the 10th C.P.C.congress declared that Leninism is the marxism of the era of Imperialism and proletarian revolution.The character of Imperialism changed from the colonial age ,to the time of the cold war but the era remained unchanged.In India 'Maoism' has been upheld but not something as principal.There are still comrades who oppose the formulation of 'Maoism ' replacing Mao Zedong thought or that Mao thought is the Leninism of today.Even the Chinese Communist party upheld Mao thought as a component of Leninism and not a seperate entity.Today there parties that claim that Maoism is the principal link and not Leninism like the C.P.I.(M.L.)Naxalbari.Without mastering Leninism no peoples war would succeed.Above all Lenin championed the mass line and opposed personality cult.Some comrades find fault with his banning of factions who fail to understand the situation Lenin faced with enemies all around him.Infact the C.P.C.under Mao contained factions which worked against it's centralism,like those of Liu Shao Chi and Lin Biao. Comrade Mao inspite of creating layers of revolutionary democracy as never done before failed to establish sufficient development  of  Leninism within his party which attributed to the revisionists grabbing power after his death in 1976..Remember how even Bob Avakian earlier considered Lenin's contribution as immortal.Only through strong grasp of Leninism were the roots of peoples war created in India.His teachings are also fundamental on the question of liberation of nationalities from a class -proletarian perspective like in India.
The formation of Revolutionary Internationalist Movement was a blunder which later on became defunct.Never forget it was the R.I.M.that always asserted that the present era was that of Leninism-of Imperialism and proletarian revolution.
Long live Leninism on Lenin's 144th birthday today!

Quoting the N.C.P.(Mashal)  in 1992:


 from Miles Ahead

Gabriel García Márquez—March 6, 1927 (Colombia)-April 17, 2014 (Mexico).



Whether this is a warning about FBI harassment, A history of the 1980s or just my ego-tistical take on this time period and the anti-imperialist campaigns—I can’t really say. So here it is. 

“Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy such a right is vested in the people (i.e. in the majority of the people). This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means.” - Herbert Marcuse[1]

For most of the 1980 decade peace groups were involved in Central American solidarity work. Most of that work focused on defending the revolution in Nicaragua and the armed struggles in El Salvador and Guatemala. Activists were able to get large crowds together from around the country to oppose President Ronald Reagan’s repressive policies in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Tagged in: Marxism police state

Posted by on in Revolutionary Strategy

Posted by on in Revolutionary Strategy

By Enaa

The previous two essays, 'The First Words of Common Sense' and 'Because We Want to Win, We Want the Means' were written to look specifically at some of the strengths of Blanquist theory and practice. While the weaknesses and deficiencies of Blanquism were not denied or glossed over, they were not given prominence. Too often, a focus by leftists on the weaknesses of Blanquism is meant to justify a conservative practice under a leftist guise. In this case, Blanquism is just an insult that reformers or revisionists call revolutionaries. Our focus on the weaknesses, deficiencies and omissions of Blanquism here has a different purpose - to look at what prevented Blanquism from realizing the goal it set out to achieve: the revolutionary seizure of power by the proletariat. To do this, it is not enough to look just at Blanqui, but to look beyond him to other communists who thought seriously about the conquest of power.


The article below is from Free Speech Radio News.





As various people's movements grow in India including a Maoist insurgency in the countryside and a growing anti-rape movement, Narendra Modi, a leader of the fascistic Bharatiya Janata Party seems likely to become India's next prime minister. The Indian ruling class is throwing their support behind this fascist in the hope that he will ruthlessly crush these growing movements. It is very possible that Modi's election will serve to intensify the struggles between the people and the state. Let's watch these events closely. - Nat Winn

The following article is from the Guardian.

Narendra Modi as prime minister would roll back women's rights in India

If Modi is elected, the many struggles rocking India – including violence against women and state repression – look likely to intensify


It is with sad news that Kasama has heard that the Brecht Forum will be closing its doors. The Brecht Forum was a Marxist School in New York City that has existed for 39 years and was a real fixture in the radical community. Many people young and old came to the Brecht Forum to take classes on radical thinkers and history, to learn about radical art movements and music, or to attend events on a broad range of subjects concerning the liberation of society.

It is always sad when a radical space is lost. Such spaces are real points of contact, where people young, old, and in between connect with others who are sick of the drudgery and alienation of our contemporary society and are thinking about how this world can be changed for the better.


Posted by on in Uncategorized

 by Mike Ely

I woke this morning to the news that Fred Ho has died --  his hard battle with cancer ending his much longer war with capitalism.

Nude-Fred-Ho-Sax-Full.inline a2da6


Long live the memory of justice Chinnappa Reddy on 1st death anniversary!



This is part of the series “Journals of a lumpen-proletariat.” The idea is to relate real working class experiences for the benefit of Marxists and Maoists who are studying the theories, but may not be familiar with the actual people these theories were intended to improve the lives of. Most of my 20s I spent as a member of the lumpen-proletariat class. I worked full or part-time jobs that paid only minimum wage. I tried to sell drugs to help stretch my money and to get drugs cheap or free. One year I landed a job working at the Stokely-Van Camp’s pork and bean factory in Lawrence, KS. It was one of the few times when I actually earned enough money to live comfortable. For that one half a year I was a member of the actual proletariat. (Real names are not used here and some details may be fuzzy as I am writing this from memory, mostly.)

I also joined the Teamsters Union while I was at the plant and it gave me an opportunity to experience actual class struggle through union activities.  By December of 1979, the Union and its members were tired of their contract coming up for approval right before Christmas. There was an issue of pay, but every union member agreed that the main reason talks broke down between the union and the company was a union demand for changing the negotiation date.

“No one wants to go on strike before Christmas,” a tall elderly man said at a union meeting I attended. “The company knows we can’t afford to go on strike before then and they use it as leverage to keep us from pushing our demands on them.”

There was real anger among the union members of the plant. The local newspaper,the Lawrence Journal World said the strike was divisive to the town. At one point a woman in the union complained that company official’s referred to us as monkeys. For people as myself it was a real eye opener to see these corporate rulers exposed as the creeps they are.

Tagged in: organizing

Posted by on in Uncategorized

by Miles Ahead

Haven’t we all experienced those moments—spurred on by not only events, but within literature (fiction and non-fiction), music, film, the arts, when something resonates so deeply, that it impacts our lives, view of the world, way of thinking, and that changes our consciousness--where there’s no going back? We may have an epiphany, and that epiphany isn’t necessarily based on an individual’s direct experience. There is something very powerful with a shared collective and cumulative experience—that goes beyond one particular story.

On April 5th, Peter Matthiessen, author of In the Spirit of Crazy Horse died.


By Doug Enaa Greene

Originally published at Open Media Boston here.

As an enthusiastic participant in the Occupy Movement I recognized, like many others, that it was time to act and “do something.” Here was a movement that, however inarticulately spoke the language of class struggle and questioned the way wealth and power in society was distributed. Yet I could never really hide a certain level frustration with what we were doing at Occupy. Despite the exciting exchange of ideas and the feeling of being a part of something important, the potential energy of Occupy never acquired adequate forms of organization with a set goal. Although Occupy has long since ended, the problems of a organization and the goal remain with the wider left.

Today on 12th April  we dip our blood in memory of the late Comrade Anuradha Gandhy who expired exactly 6 years ago

She was .one of the greatest women comrades ever in the history of the Indian revolutionary movement who harnessed her entire energy towards the emancipation of mankind.She would traverse the most turbulent of seas with the coolest mind and relentless determination and no obstacle could block her endeavour in lighting the flame of Maoism.She had the creative flair of a poet ,the skills of a doctor and the theoretical mastery of a professor.Anuradha sowed the seeds for the sprouting of many revolutionary cadres resembling a red rose blooming.She was a powerhouse of energy and would inspire all sections of people.The author remembers the meetings of fronts like the Naujwan Bharat Sabha which she inspired.She proved that MLM ideology was not mechanical but a powerful creative treasurehouse.Above all she was not mechanical and was creative in her perspective.Her writings on the Dalit movement reflected this.I can never forget how she made so many red flowers bloom in the 1980's and 1990's.She withstood the most turbulent of seas,the steepest of mountains and the densest of jungles in treading her path and defying any obstacle .Her life was an abject lesson in the invincibility of Marxism-Lenism-Maoism and it's creative essence.Above all she depicted that it is revolutionaries who are morally the most spiritual of people.She was a thorn in the flesh for the ruling classes and their culture.Her vast reserves of energy carried her towards becoming the only women central Commitee member of the C.P.I.(Maoist)The  most remarkable journey she made was in Dandkaranya where she illuminated the red torch of Maoism more than ever before.

.Today comrades still remember her.She posessed the unique spiritual qualities of a revolutionary.Red Salutes to Anuradha Gandhy!


In memory of Com.Gunadahar Murmu.

5 years ago on April 12th,2009 a veteran revolutionary comrade Gunadhar Murmu, expired who till his last breadth served the cause of the Indian revolution .Today cadres dip their blood in his memory. Throughout his life he was a crusader in establishing the mass line, treading the most turbulent or hazardous of paths.. Revolutionaries never forget his immortal  contribution in Debra in West Bengal. It is particularly relevant in light of deviations of the right and the left in the Communist revolutionary movement in West Bengal.In the agrarian revolutionary front no comrade practiced the massline as much as Comrade Murmu.

He was born in June 1927in Bela village of Debra and studied till the Higher Secondary certificate stage. After independence he became a member of the Communist Party of India and became the secretary of the Krishak Samitiin Debra area. In 1962 he built up the movement of workers, peasants, students and youth .However it could not develop into a revolutionary movement. He stood by China in the 1962 war and was arrested during the Indo-Pak war when he was upholding the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Later he was arrested for opposing the Indo-Pak war.

Gunadahr took a firm stand supporting the CPC in the great debate, upholding the general line laid down in 1963.


Posted by on in Theory

 I wrote this essay around the time when the Iraq war was in full gear. I post it hear as part of the dialogue that we have had recently on Kasama about revolutionary strategy and communist orientation, particularly the recent pieces by Enaa on Blanqui and his Rock beats scissors piece.

Here I look at the German political philosopher and jurist Carl Schmitt and his ideas about the distinction between friend and enemy and contrast them to Mao's understanding of friends and enemies and the actual experience of the Chinese revolution. Carl Schmitt had a strong influence on the Nazis and at one point joined them as they rose to power. Some leftists have argued that there are things we can incorporate from his prolific body of work but this has been contested by others like Zizek. Some of that is touched on here.  

The paper was an academic paper, though I was never too good at sticking to academic concerns. At the time I wrote it part of my goal was to persuade academics to look more at Mao tse-tung’s political theory (something still needed) and that comes out a bit at the end of the piece. I was also just coming into familiarity with thinkers like Zizek and Badiou. Believing the piece still has some theoretical value, I’m posting the pieces here slightly edited from its original edition, warts and all. I think the points made about the period of the Iraq War regarding how we can conceive of friend and enemy still hold up in today's international situation.

On April 5 at the Center for Marxist Education in Cambridge MA, Communist historian Doug Enaa Greene lectured on the activist, historian and novelist Victor Serge (1890-1947) at the Center for Marxist Education. Serge was originally an anarchist in his youth, who became a communist after 1917, an ally of Leon Trotsky and a heterodox Marxist. Victor Serge's many works chronicle, in eloquent and brutal honesty, the revolutionary experience of his generation.